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Innovative bio-based fabric receives award


March 9, 2008
By Manure Manager

The Society of Plastics Engineers
recently awarded InterfaceFABRIC Inc. with its New Technologies in
Renewables award in recognition of the company’s bio-based fabric
composting project.

The Society of Plastics Engineers recently awarded InterfaceFABRIC Inc. with its New Technologies in Renewables award in recognition of the company’s bio-based fabric composting project.

InterfaceFABRIC, a manufacturer of panel and upholstery fabrics for commercial interiors, teamed up with Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as customer Herman Miller, Incorporated and Shady Side Farm in Holland, Michigan, to experiment with a composting project for one of the company’s bio-based Terratex fabrics. While PLA is bio-based, early attempts by others to biodegrade the polymer had not been successful.

By introducing fabric scraps to a composting process at Shady Side Farm that includes waste sawdust, straw, poultry manure and a pilot-scale rotary drum compost vessel, the project team was able to experiment with the time, temperature, moisture, pH, aeration, odor, carbon and nitrogen metabolism required to achieve complete degradation of the polymer. The results showed that the compost is suitable as a high quality soil amendment and the project can be replicated at the commercial scale.


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